IT would be an absolute waste of the state’s meagre resources if Manaoba Airfield in Malaita, and Lomlom in Temotu, are left to their own devices.
The government spent millions of dollars to build these two airfields in the hope they’ll benefit, in particular people of these two regions, and in general the country.
But since the airfields were completed in 2013, they are yet to open for airline services.
The reason, as our page 4 story today revealed, was due to new financial claims and persistent land disputes.
How soon the airfields will be officially opened is not known.
The fear however, is if they are left in their current state, creepers and grasses will soon take over the runways.
This, definitely, would bring additional cost in the future if they are to be opened for commercial flights.
Several questions need to be asked.
Are the people of Manaoba and Lomlom serious about opening up their land for development?
Why did they allow their land for the airfields at the first place, when there are other landowners across the country that are desperate to have airfields in their locality?
Did landowners within these two localities realise the benefits the operations of the airfields will bring to their livelihood?
Have they ever considered the significance of such facilities to their local economy and their future generations?
Why the new claims when the government has already paid out huge amounts of money to landowners at the first place for their lands to be cleared?
How terrible it is that certain Solomon Islanders could not look beyond their noses to see what lies ahead.
These types of individuals only think for themselves and what they can get now, without even looking at their children.
They didn’t know that when they open their land for economic developments like airfields, it is their children and their children’s children that are going to benefit in years to come.
Sadly, land dispute is the biggest obstacle and killer to the development aspirations of this country.
While the majority of people would like to see progress a few short-sighted ones continue to stand in the way.
We urged the people of Lomlom and Manaoba to sit down the reconsider their currently positions.
They cannot hold these two multi-million dollar projects to ransom.
The airfields must be opened so that the millions of dollars invested into them benefit the people and nation.
It would be sad for this nation if the two airfields are locked in the current disputes and never allowed to serve the purposes they were built for.